Friday, June 2, 2017

Where Should I Find My Values?

Chuckle: "I don't think those pictures you've taken do me justice." "You don't need justice -- you need mercy!!"
Quote: “Our value system must conform to His. Our actions must conform to our values.” --L. Tom Perry

"Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world -- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of the eyes and the boasting of what he has and does -- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever" (I John 2:15-17 NIV). Worldly values tell us three things are most important in life.
1. Pleasure. Our culture is mesmerized by pleasure, with emphasis on instant gratification. "If you want it, get it -- and get it now, whether you can afford it or not. Do it even if the Bible says it's wrong." The number one industry in America today is entertainment -- pleasure. Jesus said in Luke 8:14 in the Phillips translation: "By the pleasure of living, the life is choked out of them and they produce nothing." There's a place for healthy entertainment and pleasure, but only when consistent with God's Word.
2. Possessions. Many are consumed with desire for possessions. "The one with the most toys, wins!" But I've never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul trailer. Someone has said, "In America, people seem to believe in life, liberty, and the purchase of happiness." But we all know happiness can't be bought. Some believe their self-worth is determined by their net-worth. God says, "WRONG!" Valuables without values from God's Word won't give your life purpose or meaning. Jesus warned in Luke 12:15, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." If we depend on possessions for happiness and fulfillment, they will never be enough.
3. Prestige/popularity/power. Politicians "spin" everything to enhance their image. We pay for a certain label in our clothes for image/status, and say by our actions, "Look at me -- I can afford this!" Where we live, what we drive, and what we wear are good indications of our values. Someone said, "The human race started going downhill when we invented the mirror." Oh, how true! We turned from valuing character to valuing image. I John 2:15 reads: "Do not love the world or anything in the world . . they come not from the Father but from the world." Our young people are constantly bombarded images pulling them toward the world's values, and, sadly, many parents are setting the worldly example for them.
As Christians, our values should only come from God's Word. However, often the will is missing. If our priorities are to change, the "want to" must come before the "how to." This "want to" will only come when you allow God to change your heart. We are often more concerned about what others will think of us and say about us than pleasing the One who loves us and gave Himself for us. The alarming thing about all this is the subtlety with which Satan leads us down this path of contradicting values. A little compromise here; a little acceptance of the world's standards there; and the first thing you know the world's values have become our own.
Love,Jerry & Dotse


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